I think it’s high time for a history lesson. Searching for ‘the history of cannabis’ seems more myth than fact. I haven’t plotted anything out on a timeline because I’ve chosen a far macro look for the plant. It is a habit of mine to focus almost obsessively on one characteristic and so bringing my perspective to a larger scope has certainly made my understanding more complete.
A respected and well known cannabis enthusiast and author, Ed Rosenthal, has contributed a lot to growing. My uncle had some growing books and I have learned a lot from reading them. Ed Rosenthal, Mel Frank, George Cervantes, these are the voices you should grow by. I started this blog so that I could demonstrate my techniques, most of what I have learned from first hand experience, researching online or in books. Not every source is complete but each one has a tiddbit that is worth the time finding.
Like most classes, good ones at least, vocabulary and defining what variables we are trying to bind is a must.
Equator: mid lattitude line dividing North and South Hemispheres.
Lattitude: horizontal lines defined in increments by North and South Hemispheres.
Longitude: lateral lines defined in increments by East and West Hemispheres.
Hemisphere: defined by North, East, South, West regions of the globe.
Altitude: height above sea level
Indica: Short stature, tightly spaced internoding, wide leaves, short flowering time
Ruderallis: Short stature, varied internoding, varied leaves, quick-autoflowering
Sativa: Tall stature, widely space noding, thin leaves, long flowering time
Georaphically Indica, Ruderallis, Sativa can be found all over the world, especially now in the 21st century. It is from my understanding that cannabis has gone through many eras, more specifically it has been handled and cared by humans in varying degrees over the ages. It is from interaction that creates the need to identify and define an object. I said before I have not plotted anything on a timeline, however I have done some research and have come up with an opinion that I base my growing around.
Cannabis as a plant is geneticly complete, like all life it consumes and produces energy. The rate in which it produces/consumes, how it grows, is dependent on the environment it is in. Environment consists of all factors controlled and uncontrolled by the plant. It is the interaction with beneficial or harmful variables that further develops each plant.
- Outside factors
These are some of the variables cannabis interacts with and must adjust for. In the wild these are all uncontrolled and left to test each plants resilience. Under a growers hand these variables can also simulate a wild environment or a more suitable grow place for an ideal specimen.
It is my understanding that each plant is genetically discomposed to further its genetic line, through male or female organs. From what I have read, offspring can have genetics that are not specific to the phenotype of a given parent, wide leaves from a male crossed with a thin leafed female does not mean a hybrid of the two.
Cultivators harvest cannabis for many reasons; stalks, leaves, oils, flowers, and seeds are all used by man today. It is no wonder that we are attracted to plants, their sole purpose is to produce while ours more readily is to consume.
The various growing phases of cannabis all play into another; Indica, Ruderallis, Sativa all have phenotypes to better produce for these resources. Stalks must be able to support leaves which contain the oils that attract outside pollinators to move genetics from flower to flower so that seeds can be formed to further the process along. Take the time to imagine Spring and then summer and all the animals that interacted with the plant in those months. Bending, snapping, eating, all while training the plant to produce more so that when a skunk comes to eat it, the pollen can pass on to other plants. It makes sense that female cannabis plants are more pungent, their aroma attracts or deters predators that they use to collect pollen.
Personally I have enjoyed reading leafly less and less, their articles have some nice info but I don’t agree wholy with how they speak about cannabis, perhaps trying to please too many people. It’s also an opinion of mine that companies that try and spread knowledge should make fuller attempts to draw the line in the sand. Follow up articles don’t seem to happen and everything is one and done which is why generalizations seem to get more and more confusing as nothing really ever gets defined.
I was going to spend a while hunting for specific articles but luckily this Leafly:Skunk article can help shed some light on the various eras cannabis has changed through.
As a plant cannabis strives to grow, left on its own the possibilites are endless, while also finite. Same is said for mans interaction with cannabis. Anyone who paid attention to ‘No Man’s Sky’ utter failure has a visual representation of how genetics can go wrong. Procedural generation is similar to genetics in that the designer defines what can and cannot interact together and what is placed where. The problem with ‘No Man’s Sky’ was not procedural generation, i.e. the genetics, the failure resulted in how one could interact with the genetics and ultimately it was disatisfying for the consumer. Nobody likes smoking Hemp.
If cannabis is left in a non-competetive environment, less potent or more hemp-like cannabis is grown out. I consider Ruderallis most akin to a weed, more because of the wild need it has to flower/pollinate which can create for many growing seasons within a single year. Even more so, I think Ruderallis is further defined as out of season marijuana. The ‘autoflower’ trait some plants have makes me believe there are plants/genes that thrive and produce better in off seasons. The purpose of these traits are to reintroduced genetics that would not have survived the winter or summer and changing seasons.
Ruderallis and more Hemp variets of cannabis can be found farthest from the equator, although this again is still a misdirect for those unwilling to dig deeper. The contrast from the equator and the poles is more similar due to the opposite environments each region sustains. Longer days or longer nights. Early flowering or late flowering. These are all key to passing genetics along, ie growing cannabis. Each strain of cannabis; Indica, Ruderallis, Sativa may have identical bouquets and growth patterns. It is up to the grower to decide if cannabis is defined georaphically or characteristcly. It becomes a challenge to identified cannabis the more current you discuss its history. 1970s seems to be an era set in stone for cannabis although mainly through infamy from the drug wars. In the 21st century cannabis is grown more than ever before. Certainly not every grower is going to have identical genetics or even the same understanding of how cannabis grows which further spreads genetics from this or that. In a garden growers should not look at name over strain or there will be another era of “C. Indica formerly C. Sativa indicana”
It is the purpose of cannabis to produce so that it may pass its genes to further progeny. It has no affiliation to the names given by the growers only the genes bred through it. It is with these genes that cannabis should be identified. As a grower I like to look at both sides of the coin on this discussion. That there are no unique strains and all cannabis grows to best produce for its next progeny, the variety and differences we see are the various timelines of each lineage growing out simultaneously. Or that I can grab this plant or that plant, breed them together based on desired qualites until a product I am satisfied with shows through. Really the latter is a more rigid outlook of the former which is more free.
However you grow I find it best to grow based on Indica, Ruderallis, Sativa and how you define those plants in your minds eye. Once that is envisioned, intorduce it to the environment you want tge ideal plant to grow in and then grow it out to achieve that ideal specimen. I do not think we are in a time where the average grower needs to create the ‘Hindu Kush – Garden of Eden’ to successfully grow out their ideal cannabis. I start each grow envisioning where the plant originates from, river bed, forest floor, cliffside, under a canopy. At the end of my grows I know that the results are by my hand and the conditions I stressed my plant through, because cannabis is whole/complete and that I expressed the desired traits to show, otherwise they would have stayed dormant.
This is a small drop in a huge discussion that can be approached from many angles. I will go further into Cannabis Genetics/History again, next time discussing Dominant/Recessive and Active/Dormant traits. I find that what is said above makes little to no sense if one doesn’t believe or understand the idea of Dormant and Active traits and so I will touch more on this later.
I am working on a video that better demonstrates geographically where cannabis grows and how it has migrated over the ages from parellel to parellel. This has largely to do with flowering times and how genes may go dormant for years at a time.